June 25, 2012

Retaining My Sanity

Adam and I built a new retaining wall in our back yard. It's nice, because it made our yard bigger, but getting  it to this point was a long, somewhat painful process.

We decided to build it last year. Adam underestimated the cost (as usual), and we went WAY over budget. So bad, in fact, that we had to leave it unfilled for the rest of the year.

LESSON 151: a million unfinished projects in and around your home because your husband is an optimist = white trash

We finally got back to it in May. It became an emergency when we decided to sell our house. No one would ever want to buy a house with a retaining wall that retained nothing. The back yard sloped violently into a wall with huge screws sticking out of it. (Fact #2 that annoyed me about Adam's cost underestimation, the kids had no where to play for a year. The wall reminded me of something straight out of  Mortal Kombat. There was absolutely no playing allowed back there.)

In two days Adam and I shoveled 13 tons of gravel, 8 tons of fill dirt, and 8 tons of topsoil. The gravel wasn't bad, it was the fill dirt that broke me. Towards the end of that pile I was near tears, I held it together, but when I put my shovel in the topsoil and felt how wonderfully easy it was to move, I couldn't keep back my emotions.

Lesson 152: crying tears of joy from shoveling topsoil = white trash

It was finally full, but it still looked hideous. We planted grass and Adam was adamant about planting several trees. "Ugh, how much is that going to cost?" I begrudgingly asked. I personally didn't want to spend anymore money. I'm a saver. Adam goes above and beyond the call of spender. "Oh, it shouldn't be more than fifty bucks."


They do look nice, and I am excited about the fruit they will produce. So, the retaining wall fiasco is finally over. The kids have a yard again. The only bad thing is, they have a yard again! The grass won't grow in one spot by the retaining wall, because Stone has claimed this section as his own little sandbox. I also had an aneurysm the day I looked out and saw a tricycle wrecked into one of the "less than $50" trees and a very large limb hung sadly by nothing more than a thin strip of bark.

"Who wrecked the tricycle into the tree?" I demanded. Five resounding, "Not me"'s came from all children who could speak. I guess it was the twins. 

I stormed outside to check out the damage. I didn't just see a broken tree, I saw broken dollar bills. Adam came up behind me, "I can fix it. Get me a Popsicle stick and a band aid."

"Who are you? Green MacGyver?" 

I came out with his supplies, and sure enough, he fixed the tree. He even made me give the tree's boo-boo a kiss for good measure. It's expected to make a full recovery.

Lesson 153: fixing your tree with a Popsicle stick and a band aid = white trash 

You know, with all the money I've dumped into this place, coupled with my stress, and all my sweat equity, I'm seriously considering raising the price of my house $500,000. 

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